For the Greater Good

The tale of a Gue'vesa

In the 41st millennium, there is only war.

Mankind has reached out to the stars and sends hundreds of crusades daily against alien life forms and their own for their immortal Emperor, whose corpse is sat on the golden throne on holy Terra-Earth to the older records. It is for him millions die, it is for him mankind would keep fighting until their last dying breath.

To the human race, all other forms of religion are heresy...

However not all humans serve the Emperor, nor they do worship him.

Some serve 'the Greater Good', a religion that unites them with the original creators of said religion, the Tau Empire.

The Tau are a young race, having evolved from the stone age to a galactic empire in a span of 6000 years. Along with their allies the insectoid Vespid and the carnivorous Kroot, the Tau set upon a holy mission to try to convert the galaxy under the one common religion. Peacefully...or defend it with force otherwise.

The Tau's first contact with the Empire of man began with bloodshed, with the Tau being the victor. Dozens of worlds, and billions of men were abandoned by their Emperor to the invaders. However the Tau gave those who were left behind the chance to join the empire, and become participants of the Greater Good.

Here began the story of the Gue'vesa, or Human helper in the tongue of man.

Like the Kroot and the Vespid, the Gue'vesa became members of the Tau Empire and willingly served alongside their alien brothers and sisters.

This is the story of Fire Warrior, Shas'saal Shas Au'taal Kais. Cadet Kais of the Fire caste from the planet Au'taal.

Kais glanced to his left and right as the Kass'L (Orca) Gunship made it's way to the planet's surface. All he saw were Tau fire warriors, like himself, well save his skin colour.

He was a Gue'vesa, a human helper. His father was one as well, that is why he was allowed to join the Fire caste and fight alongside the Tau to defend the Empire.

The Tau were humanoid in shape, although they had hoofed feet and four-digit hands. Their skin was grey-blue, rough in texture, leathery, and exudes almost no moisture. Their faces were flat, wide around the eyes, with an "I"-shaped slit running from the center of the forehead to where a human's nose would be.

Like Kais, the Tau, Fire warriors all, wore yellow armour like himself. On the center, left shoulder pad and belt area the symbol of the Tau Empire was emblazoned, that of a orb with a single line that went up and near the top a smaller half circle.

He stared at his helmet, the sole item that would mask him as a human, and make him a proper Fire Warrior, worthy to be in the Fire caste.

It was egg shaped, but one could fit his head in it. It had a small wing on the right, which allowed for radio contact for all units. In it's center there were two red orbs, one above the other, which served as the viewholes.

'Fire Warriors!' a loud female voice sounded through the ship. Kai slid his helmet on and paid attention to their commanding officer.

Her name was commander Quick Witted, by her name one would guess why she earned that name.

'Brothers and sisters, today we are headed to one of our former worlds, called New Icarus. The Imperium of man took it from us many decades ago, as you all know. We waited for decades, ever watching, waiting until the enemy would make a mistake or show a fatal wound...'

She grinned as her long black hair seemed to shine in the red light of the gunship.' They finally did. For the past four months the humans have fought a greenskin invasion which crumbled their forces severely in this sector.'

She placed a device on the ground which began emiting a holographic image of the planet.

The northern regions of the planet were highlighted as diverse colours seemed to dot the landscape. The blue colours were the imperial forces, green the orks, yellow the tau, which began moving toward the planet.

'The humans almost fought off this Waaargh, led by the Warboss Gorvar according to our sources, and are at their weakest. There are no Space Marine chapters in this sector, making this planet a easy target to join our Empire. They are alone, tired, and abandoned by their Emperor.'

'Drop zone, coming up in sixty seconds.' The pilot of the air caste said via the com system.' All wait for the green light.'

Commander Quick Witted nodded.' Right, let's make this brief. We are going to land near the Hubris mountains, here.' She pointed at a mountain range.' The bulk of the imperial forces are located here and do battle with the Orks. If we defeat both here, the rest of the planet belongs to us. Our group will land behind their lines while our other brothers and sisters land on the east and west.'

She pointed to the other Tau figures.

'Our stealth Suit teams were able to destroy the enemy's listening posts, so our presence is not detected, making our jobs more the easier. But do not become cocky, the fighting will be fierce and many of you may not make it out, we don't want your trial by fire to become to easy now do we?' she grinned once more and received quite a few chuckles from the Shas'ui, the veterans of previous battles.

'Any further questions?' the commander asked.

A single hand rose up. Kais, along with the other fire warriors, moved their gaze to it's owner...a Kroot.

Kroot were the allies of the Tau, but like the Gue'vesa a different species.

The Kroot were a species of humanoids who evolved from avian creatures. Kroot were tall aliens (a good half-meter taller than most humans), their avian ancestry giving them a bird-like beak and long quills protruding from their heads like hair. Smaller quills, possibly the evolutionary remnants of feathers, were to be found scattered over their bodies.

Needless to say, they were a bit more sceptical of Tau plans.

'What about me and my kin?' The kroot asked in a raspy voice.' Or our Vespid brothers for that matter?'

Commander Quick Witted glanced at her arm as the timer showed forty seconds remained.' You Kroot will remain in front of us in the case an Ork force or a human force would charge towards us. We pick them off from a distance, you keep them off us. The Vespid have their own orders in the case any enemy ordinance come about.'

The Kroot grunted as he seemed content with the answer.

The commander slipped her helmet on.' Remember your training, believe in the Greater Good, and you will make it out alive.'

The Fire Warirors and the Kroot took their weapons and prepared themselves.

Kais took his Pulse rifle and immediately saw the remaining rounds on his viewscreen. It was fully loaded, and he had several clips to spare. Good.

'Ten seconds!' the Air caste said via the com.' It looks like chaos out there, I will commence opening fire, don't charge out to far!'

'You heard the man!' the Commander shouted.' Stay within the boundries and shoot at everything that has a green skin and spouts nonsense about a god-emperor!'

'Yes Ma'm!' the troops replied.

The tension could be felt throughout the room, already they heard the distant thunder of artillery becoming louder. The sounds of ships launching and crashing, the screams...

Kais recalled his father's words of confidence. 'Follow your orders, stay focused and keep a finger on your trigger.' He would not let his father down by dying in his first battle.

The red became green and the doors slammed open.

'Go go go, Kroot first, rest of you fall in line!' Commander Quick Witted shouted.

The Kroot eagerly jumped off the ship, followed by the Tau Fire Warriors.

Kais jumped down as well...and saw his first battlefield.

Chaos did not begin to describe it. Burning vehicles, the stench of death, the bodies...

The Roca gunship just behind him opened fire in the distance. His helmet couldn't see what, was that...a hue of green...?

Focused, he had to stay focused!

'Move it, Trooper!' Quick Witted tapped his helmet.' Make room for the re-'

The blow threw everyone to the floor as the Orca ship erupted into flames and crashed against the mountainside. Kais shrugged it off as he remembered his father's word and got back up on his feet. He offered his hand to the commander. She took it and got up, giving the human a quick nod.

Kais returned the gesture and looked at the burning wreckage of the gunship.

He hoped more of them would have made it out...

As the commander was about to call for help, a loud series of roars shook the entire area.

Kais helmet zoomed in toward the North...and indeed saw the enemy coming.

'Orks...' he muttered.

'Tell me something I don't know trooper...' the commander looked around...and sighed of relief as many Fire Warriors and a single Broadside battle suit.

The Broadside was a large mechanical suit that stood over four meters and had a shoulder mounted twin-linked railgun and an arm mounted smart missile system. Like the helmet it had a similar red orbs which served as a viewhole for it's driver.

'Kroot get in front, Fire Warirors line up, Broadside ready your rounds, we're not giving up this position!' she shouted. 'Stand your ground!'

Kais held his weapon to his shoulder and stood in a single file with the other Fire warriors as the Kroot prepared their own.

The Kroot had special pulse rifles, a normal rifle on one end and a downward spike on the other end. The Tau were not good hand to hand fighters due to the low gravity on their worlds, which did not generate a great muscle mass. The Kroot on the other hand did not have that problem...

The Broadside planted it's feet deep into the rocky surface as it prepared it's shoulder railguns.

[Orks in range, Commander.] The pilot of the suit said.

'Fire at will!' she called.

The suit opened fire in the distance as it's explosions rocked the ground.

Already they could hear the shouting, undiminished despite the Broadside's best efforts.

'Kroot, split up in two, keep the greenskins pinned!' Quick witted shouted.

'Your wish is my command, Commander.' The Kroot leader grinned and leaped off, barking the orders to his second who took his half of the Kroot group.

The Kroot leaped on the mountainside where they waited...

Kais could see them now, the Orks. Savage brutes, an incoming tide of death.

They had squat bodies, yellow tusks, and wore collections of diverse weapons and armours.

'WAAARGH!' was the one word that bellowed through their throats. Clearly they picked their target...The Tau.

'Kroot get ready, Fire Warriors take aim...'

The Fire Warriors choose their targets.

The Orks came ever closer, they raised their shoddy excuses for guns.

'Kroot now!'

The Kroot leaped down and slammed their spikes into the Orks before they fired away and engaged in hand to hand combat.

'Fire Warriors, aid our Kroot brothers! Fire!'

Kais picked off one Ork after another. One shot, one kill, as it was proper.

His mind was in perfect sync with his body. One quarter of his clip remained while his hand went to a free magazine. He ejected the empty clip after the last shot and jammed the free one in it's chamber before he fired again.

Less then a second of no firing, he had to be quicker...

'ORKSES ARE MADE FO' FIGHTIN' AN' WINNIN!' A loud Ork voice shouted.

The Tau looked up..and saw one large Ork walk through the masses as it smashed Kroot aside as if they were leaves.

It was part ork, part machine...his left hand was a large bolter machine gun while his left was a large claw made from scrap metal.

'YA STUPID GITZ, DEM LIZARDS AINT GOO' FIGHTIN!' he took a ork aside and pointed at the Fire Warriors.

'Dem is shootin' us!' The Ork boss shouted.' Shoots back!'

'Yes Boss!' the ork in question replied. The major mass of the orks followed their leader and charged toward the Tau.

'Blasted orks...' Commander Quick Witted growled.' They're getting smarter...'

Kais kept firing while he awaited for orders.

'Kroot fall back, Broadside go toe to toe with that boss! Rest of you fall back to the mountainside! We get reinforcements coming!'

Kais obeyed his Commander's advice and fell back.

The Warboss fired a the Broadside who fired back and went hand to hand with him.

'Youz hidin' in kan, youz die now!'

The ork jammed his claw into the suit and ripped it open...which revealed the female pilot.

Without any delay the Ork grabbed the female, who tried to wriggle free, but was ripped out, minus her arms and legs which were stuck in the suit still in their respective mechanical limbs. Blood spatterd all over the ork's hideous smiling face.

Kais tried to shut the cries out while he climbed up the rocks, thankfully her painful cries were cut short.

Kais knew, as well as the pilot, she was send there to die.

'She will be remembered...' Quick witted said to herself out loud.'Kais!' The Commander turned to him.' You're the best shot we got, aim for the suit's Railgun now the Warboss has it!'

Kais blinked, did she ask him to-

'Now trooper!'

The Gue'vesa immediately turned around and quickly made his shot.

The face of the warboss just before the Broadside blew up was one Kais would remember until the end of his days.

The mix of surprise and anger faded as he was engulfed in flames. The suit exploded which claimed many orks and most of the area.

The few Orks that remained were quickly taken care off.

Kais did not take those shots...he couldn't believe he made that one shot that won them the battle.

He sighed of relief...and then he heard it...the tires...

They forgot one thing...the thing that cost them their gunship. A big explosion occurred above them which claimed more fire warriors. It was a Leman Russ tank, No...not a Leman Russ...several, Kais counted five. Obviously the Imperium caught up.

Several Guardsmen in their mud caked uniforms charged toward them and fired immediately.

'Kill the Xenos!' Their captain shouted.' Kill the infidels!'

'Surrender now, humans!' The Commander replied.' Your emperor left you here to die alone against the Ork tides! Unlike him we will show mercy, join the Greater Good, become one of us!'

'You keep your Greater Good!' the commissar glared.' Our faith is in the Emperor, you will all die for heresy!'

Kais sadly saw all of the Guardsmen shared their commander's ideal.

'I pity you...Stingwings, now!' Quick Witted shouted.

From the dust clouds, Kais saw several Vespid fly over them.

They were gray-blue like the Tau, except they had wings of an dragonfly, more of an antlike face along with the torso armour of a Fire Warrior. In their hands they wielded wicked Neutron Blaster which were able to bypass most armours and hit their targets on the inside...such as the humans inside the tanks.

Kais aimed at the commissar and took his shot...

The Vespid fired at the tanks, easily dodging the mortal fire as the Kroot and Tau picked off the few Guardsmen, until the enemy stopped firing.

The survivors, Tau, Kroot and Vespid alike cheered at the hard won victory.

Kais walked over to the nearest Leman Russ and opened the trap door to glance inside. His infra red saw no heat coming from the guardsmen, they were dead.

He studied their corpses...their facial expressions. They were his race, but they believed In a false god, he believed in the Greater Good. Why didn't they surrender when they had the chance...?

Commander Quick Witted slapped her hand on Kais' shoulder.' You did good, Trooper, you did good. Your father would've been proud.'

Kais blinked.' You...you know my father, commander?'

'Why do you think I asked you to be placed under my watch?' she took her helmet off.' Glad to know you inherited his skill. Enjoy your victory, you've done good.'

As she walked off to talk to the Vespid leader Kais contemplated...but agreed.

He did good, he honoured his family, he honoured the Greater Good.